Pandemic illuminates long-standing gaps in relations with Nevada tribes, an opportunity for closer ties – Nevada Capital News

The Duckwater Shoshone Reservation is roughly 50 miles south of Eureka, Nevada – photo: Nevada Indian Commission

There are 27 federally recognized tribal nations in Nevada. Stacey Montooth is executive director of the Nevada Indian Commission, a state agency. She communicates with all of them.

Before the pandemic, sovereign tribal governments had direct relations with the federal government. Now, under the national and state declarations of emergency, tribes  communicate with the US Government through the State of Nevada. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak will meet with the Nevada Intertribal Council on Thursday, May 28 to discuss matters related to the pandemic.

“For Great Basin Native Americans, that’s the Paiute, the Shoshone, and the Washoe, along with the 50,000-plus self-identified urban Indians in the state of Nevada, we’ve never had a better opportunity to work with the state government in my lifetime,” said Montooth, a citizen of the Walker River Paiute Nation.

“I’ve never seen an administration like Governor Sisolak’s. In fact, I can tell you that he has asked me to be included in daily calls, so since the emergency was declared by the state of Nevada, the Indian Commission has been involved with his office every morning at 8:30.”

Pyramid Lake and Anaho Island. The island, from which Pyramid Lake got its name, is protected as the Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge. Access to the island is restricted. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the nature reserve harbors a colony of American white pelicans and also supports breeding colonies of California gulls, Caspian terns, double-crested cormorants, great blue herons, black-crowned night herons, and snowy egrets – photo: Nevada Indian Commission

Tribal nations are sovereign states within Nevada. According to Montooth, ceding the diplomatic authority to communicate directly with the federal government is not done indiscriminately or without

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